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Oldest heart patient in India still going strong
Published on 26 Oct. 2009 11:14 PM IST
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Ninety-eight-year-old V L Bela, who created a medical history by undergoing stent angioplasty four years back, is still going strong. Bela, a resident of Tuikual locality in Aizawl, underwent stent angioplasty in Kolkata at the age of 94. He was claimed to be the oldest man in the world to survive after the angioplasty. Dr Tarun Praharaj, director of Cardiac Catherisation Laboratory and senior interventional cardiologist at the BM Birla Heart Research Centre, successfully performed the angioplasty on Bela on April 23, 2005. ‘’I can still roam around. I have a little problem in hearing, other than that I am as fine as a morning bird,’’ Bela said. Stent angioplasty of coronary arteries at above 80 years of age is known to cause acute cardiac and non-cardiac complications, like renal failure and bleeding, ultimately resulting in death. However, a team under Praharaj went ahead with the stent angioplasty and cleared the blockade. Bela survived. Bela, a retired primary school-teacher based in Aizawl, had a history of chest pain and heart attack before he underwent the operation. Doctors in Aizawl said the pain was a result of age-related complications and an earlier heart attack. ‘’I would have died four years back had I accepted what the doctors here told, and not insisted on going to Kolkata,’’ Bela stated. On arriving Kolkata, Bela inquired about the treatment available. On being told of angioplasty, he wanted to go for it. The spirit shown by him at such an advanced age amazed the doctors, reported UNI. ‘’He was stubborn and desperately wanted us to perform the procedure on him. We held a meeting and decided that nobody is too old not to enjoy life for a few more years,’’ Praharaj said. ‘’There was a case reported from London in which a similar operation was performed on a person aged 91. Another one was reported from Brazil. To the best of my knowledge, no case has been reported in this country earlier,’’ Dr Praharaj said.

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